Asian American Narratives Defined By The Intergenerational Model

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Asian American Narratives Defined by the Intergenerational Model
The Asian American experience primarily narrates a story of hardship in assimilation into the American society. However, these stories are heavily nuanced depending on the generational perspective. The Asian American experience from the first generation emphasizes the practical concerns in surviving economically in a foreign land. On the other hand, the second generation recounts social and personal conflicts that primarily deal with questioning their identity. Given these differing Asian American narratives, these immigrant families are oftentimes confronted not only with clashing cultural values, but also mismatched perspectives on life. Asian American scholar, Erin Khue Nihn, examines these intergenerational conflicts using a socio-economic perspective in her novel, Ingratitude. Her argument builds on the economically driven mindset of the parental generation and concludes the following: “Asian American intimate relations reveal themselves to be profoundly ordered by capitalist logic and ethos" (Nihn 6). Employing Nihn 's interpretation, the parents enforce a strong adherence to their ethnic heritage, whereby these cultural reminders serve as a means of economic survival to provide stability within the nuclear family. Attempting to internalize these ethnic values while assimilating into society, the second generation becomes conflicted in resolving their Asian American identity. Essentially, the Asian

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